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Styloglossus Muscle
Muscular System

Styloglossus Muscle

Musculus styloglossus

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Quick Facts

Origin: Styloid process of temporal bone.

Insertion: Blends with intrinsic muscles of tongue.

Action: Elevates and retrudes tongue.

Innervation: Hypoglossal nerve (CN XII).

Arterial Supply: Sublingual artery.

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The styloglossus muscle arises from the anterolateral aspect of the styloid process of the temporal bone near its apex, and from the proximal end of the stylomandibular ligament. It is one of three muscles that attaches to the styloid process, the others include the stylopharyngeus and stylohyoid muscles.


As the styloglossus muscle descends anteriorly, it divides into longitudinal and oblique parts. The longitudinal part enters the tongue posterolaterally and blends with the inferior longitudinal lingual muscle. The oblique part overlaps with the hyoglossus muscle and decussates with it.


The styloglossus muscle elevates and retrudes the tongue (Standring, 2016).


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

The styloglossus is a long, narrow muscle that passes from the mastoid process of the skull into the tongue.

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